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Independence Annexes 82 Acres At South End

INDEPENDENCE -- City Council annexed 82 acres of land in south Independence on Dec. 8 that will eventually see a large residential development.

INDEPENDENCE -- City Council annexed 82 acres of land in south Independence on Dec. 8 that will eventually see a large residential development.

A conceptual design for the parcel, owned by David and Joan Setniker, shows the potential for as many as 555 new homes, town houses and condominiums.

The council also changed its zoning to a mixed-use designation (MX) that allows for single- and multi-family housing.

CSA Consulting Engineers, the firm representing the developers, has handled a number of projects in the city, including the upcoming civic center.

Harvey Cummings of CSA said he is aiming for a pedestrian-friendly subdivision with varied housing types and environmentally sustainable elements, such as regional stormwater ponds and pocket parks.

He intends to submit an application for the first phase of the subdivision next year, he said, adding a best-case-scenario for groundbreaking is 2011.

But "this is a 10- to 15-year project," Cummings said. "The start date is market-driven. We're not rushing out there."

The property is located just south of Ninth Street, near the south fork of Ash Creek. It is vacant and currently being used for grass seed farming. Access would be made available by extending Chestnut Street and Mountain Fir Avenue.

The city created the MX zone designation when it expanded its urban growth boundary last winter. It requires an average density of nine units per acre to allow for small and large lots throughout the property.

Shawn Irvine, Independence's community development technician, said the goal with the zoning was to accommodate a mix of housing types, with high-end and more affordable units.

"It's trying to avoid the sort of neighborhood where every lot is the same size and the homes all look similar," Irvine said.

About five acres of the site will be dedicated for parks and recreation use.

The design of the project includes a portion of an oft discussed east-to-west arterial street that Independence and Monmouth leaders have envisioned to connect Corvallis Road to Highway 99W.

The applicant will have to submit a traffic analysis report that examines the impact on vehicle traffic to and from the development when applying for subdivision approval, Irvine said.

Cummings will also have to provide a wetland delineation and a base flood plain study, as the property contains a flood hazard area along the creek.

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